Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Review: Sometimes, Forever • Soccer Mommy

Playing gigs around the world as alternative outfit Soccer Mommy, singer-songwriter Sophie Allison returns to her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee between tours. While it has become a business hub and a musicians’ mecca, the city maintains an unassuming status when plucked away from the Appalachia and stacked beside coastal giants and typical celebrity hot spots. To reject the expected migration and remain firmly in the South seems counterculture, but to embrace the establishment and belonging of a hometown safety net is warm and familiar. It’s that blend of emotion – somewhere between feeling comfortable where you are and being too cool to care what anyone else thinks of it – that Soccer Mommy’s music continues to capture on her third studio record, Sometimes, Forever.

On “Shotgun,” the album’s lead single in which Soccer Mommy’s propensity for well-crafted hooks is magnified with a blurry mix of electric guitars and subtle synthesizers, Allison sings through her grocery list: “Cold beer and ice cream’s all we keep, the only things we really need.” Its casual verses play down its underlying echo chamber of romantic admiration – and that idea extends to other corners of the record. “With U,” a swaying rock number complemented with fresh springs of synthesizers, is wholeheartedly dedicated to another: “Wherever you’re going, I’m going, too, ‘cause nothing else matters when I’m with you.” And even when love takes to the periphery and uncertainty creeps to the lyrical center, as it does on the grungy “Don’t Ask Me” and the heavy suicide confessional “Darkness Forever,” there’s still a semblance of calm within a Soccer Mommy tune. 

Both Soccer Mommy records leading up to Sometimes, Forever were alluring in their own right, but neither can compare to the textures brushed onto this record’s canvas. Any nods to late 20th century rock music are magnified with more progressive decoration of the genre. While lite psychedelia and dulled pop have become the primary underpinnings of her music, she shims in a subtle country guitar lick on “Feel It All The Time,” which opens with a dedication to a trusty old pick-up truck in the driveway to boot, and an unsteady mechanical churn with “Unholy Affliction.” But even when Soccer Mommy is doing what she’s always done without complication – rocking out on something like album opener “Bones” or masquerading a gruesome scene with a gentle guitar strum on “Fire in the Driveway” – she feels like she’s at the top of her game.

Sometimes, Forever is available now under Loma Vista Recordings.

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